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FedNew: A Communication-Efficient and Privacy-Preserving Newton-Type Method for Federated Learning

Anis Elgabli · Chaouki Ben Issaid · Amrit Singh Bedi · Ketan Rajawat · Mehdi Bennis · Vaneet Aggarwal

Hall E #626

Keywords: [ OPT: Learning for Optimization ] [ OPT: Convex ]


Newton-type methods are popular in federated learning due to their fast convergence. Still, they suffer from two main issues, namely: low communication efficiency and low privacy due to the requirement of sending Hessian information from clients to parameter server (PS). In this work, we introduced a novel framework called FedNew in which there is no need to transmit Hessian information from clients to PS, hence resolving the bottleneck to improve communication efficiency. In addition, FedNew hides the gradient information and results in a privacy-preserving approach compared to the existing state-of-the-art. The core novel idea in FedNew is to introduce a two level framework, and alternate between updating the inverse Hessian-gradient product using only one alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) step and then performing the global model update using Newton’s method. Though only one ADMM pass is used to approximate the inverse Hessian-gradient product at each iteration, we develop a novel theoretical approach to show the converging behavior of FedNew for convex problems. Additionally, a significant reduction in communication overhead is achieved by utilizing stochastic quantization. Numerical results using real datasets show the superiority of FedNew compared to existing methods in terms of communication costs.

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